As we've noted time and again, the Style section of the Washington Post has been reliably gaga over President Obama and liberal-friendly causes and campaigns. Today's Style page was no exception, with its front page dominated by an Obama for America photo that has been widely retweeted on Twitter and "liked" on Facebook.
"Snapshot of an equal, modern marriage," gushes the headline. "Loving image of Obamas is embraced by social media," added a subheader for Philip Kennicott's "Critic's Notebook" feature. "Who is embracing whom in that photograph of the Obamas that went viral on election night?" Kennicott asked in his lead sentence, laying the groundwork for a gushy item on how the Obamas exemplify a perfectly equal marital union, unlike, apparently, stodgy traditionalist, Republican first couples of yore (emphasis mine):
In his page A51 November 7 column, "Voting on same-sex marriage, with the Book of Leviticus ringing in my ears," the Washington Post's Courtland Milloy explained how, as a child raised in the "Bible Belt during the 1950s with that Old-Time Religion," he's still haunted by "Leviticus, that strong-arm book of the Bible that for years has tried to dictate my thoughts and actions through fear and guilt and on Tuesday dogged my every step to the polls."
What followed was Milloy recounting his consultations with two liberal theological influences in the local African-American community who helped convince him that voting for same-sex marriage was biblically kosher. He also tossed in a conservative black pastor who was quickly derided as a biblical literalist who is "not literate" in the estimation of a Howard Divinity professor. But at the very close of his column, Milloy rather gratuitously dropped in something that suggests he was struggling with lusting in his heart after President Obama's wife:
In his "Winners and losers from Election 2012" feature filed at his paper's website on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza concluded that foreign policy in general was a "loser" in the campaign, failing to move votes (emphasis mine), "Despite all of the media attention that Libya drew in the final month of the campaign, foreign policy was an afterthought — at best — for most voters," he noted, adding that "Just 5 percent of people in the national exit poll said foreign policy was their most important issue. Interestingly, Obama won that group by 20+ points."
But as we've noted in numerous places on this blog, the administration's ever-shifting storyline on Benghazi failed to get scrutiny in the media, and new, damning revelations were downplayed or ignored, especially as the election drew closer and closer:
It's no secret that the liberal media have boosted Obama with bias by commission, going out of their way to treat him with gauzy coverage, softball interviews, and by hyping his celebrity status, but bias by omission played an even larger role in the media's part to ensure the president's reelection, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Stuart Varney this morning. [see video below page break]
Appearing on the November 7 edition Fox Business Network's Varney & Co. shortly after 10 a.m., Bozell, also the founder and president of the Media Research Center, told the audience that the media simply "stopped reporting the news" on things that would, if covered, make Obama look bad. The only questions which remain, Bozell added were:
During a November 6 chat with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell in which he handicapped the election, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) argued that Republicans had done themselves no favors by both having as many debates as they did in the primary season and turning those debates over to liberal journalists for moderating. "If you were going to have the debates, let them be sponsored by the Heritage Foundation or let them be sponsored by the Republican National Committee."
For her part, Mitchell was visibly upset by this charge and shot back that various state Republican Party organizations had co-sponsored those debates. "But they were controlled by the news media," Barbour reminded her. "But I am accepting your point," Barbour conceded, that the lengthy, debate-laden primary season hurt Romney's ability to campaign for independents' votes. [watch the video below the page break]
Updated: Franke-Ruta tweeted back | In a segment on the November 5 Now with Alex Wagner, Garance Franke-Ruta argued that it was "not preordained" that the devastation from Hurricane Sandy and Obama's subsequent photo-op responses would "work in his favor. The Atlantic magazine writer made those observations during a panel discussion on how, in Wagner's words, the hurricane "broke Mitt Romney's momentum" and that a "meme" the GOP can "seize on" should Gov. Romney fail to win tomorrow is to outright blame the cyclone for the loss.
Franke-Ruta offered that if Hurricane Katrina had happened eight days prior to Bush's 2004 reelection, it would have sunk his reelection chances and offered that, unlike Bush, Obama had not let the problems in the devastated areas "fester." Something tells me a number of Staten Islanders would take issue with you. From a November 4 item at the Huffington Post, no right-wing rag it (video follows page break; emphases mine):
Parkmobile, a company that runs an app by which smartphone users can pay for on-street metered parking, recently found itself bullied by a powerful liberal Democratic senator, simply for exercising its freedom of speech. The company found itself on the receiving end of Sen. Dick Durbin's wrath for having sent an email to its users in which it chalked up an increase in its transaction fees to "increased costs triggered by recent federal legislative reform enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's Durbin Amendment."
According to the Washington Post's Dina ElBoghdady, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) shot off a letter to the company hitting the claims as "grossly misleading." On top of that, Durbin sent another letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, complaining that the company, which has a contract with the federal city's government to do business, "offer[ed] up incorrect, unsolicited legislative analysis while hiding behind poorly reasoned excuses for their own price hikes."
Remember the good ol' days when folks in the media were fond of telling us that conservative evangelical Christians would exhibit anti-Mormon bigotry and fail to vote for Mitt Romney simply because of his religion?
"Debate moderators and reporters love to ask pro-life candidates hard questions about abortion. Curiously, they don’t do the same for pro-choice candidates," Wax noted on his Kingdom People blog, before laying out ten queries he thinks are fair game that are never asked. Questions number 2 and 4, in particular are exactly the sort of questions that could both shed light on a politician's views and simulatenously trip him/her up in an awkward moment. You can find Wax's questions excerpted below the page break or read them at the TGC site here:
Back in April, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged Gov. Mitt Romney with being a liar, went on to quote Mormon doctrinal texts, and strongly hinted that the Republican presidential candidate was in danger of hellfire. In early December 2011, Bashir hinted at a similar pronouncement of anathema on GOP candidate Herman Cain.
But now with just five days left until the election, Bashir is infuriated by a TV ad cut by former Baptist minister and ex-governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) which simply reminds Christian voters that God is watching their vote and that their choices at the ballot box ring through to eternity. "Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?" Huckabee asks in the spot. Bashir, no biblical illiterate he, erroneously took this to be a suggestion that Huckabee was suggesting the "unpardonable sin" was casting a vote for Obama. Both a review of the full context of the ad [embedded below the page break] and a basic understanding of the relevant biblical text Huckabee alludes to shows it's nothing of the sort. [MP3 audio of segment here; video excerpt of Bashir segment also follows page break]
In a way, you have to admire Politico for its dedication to dopey storylines that are thin on evidence but dutifully crafted to boost liberal Democrats. Take this Thursday afternoon post by David Rogers entitled "Can Kerrey Republicans lift him to a win?", playing off the term "Reagan Democrats" and referring to GOP voters in Nebraska who could return Bob Kerrey (D) -- lifetime ACU conservative score of just 8 out of a possible 100 -- to the Senate after a 12-year hiatus in the private sector, nine of which were filled as the president of The New School in New York City.
But in his 14-paragraph story, reporter David Rogers failed to find document any regular Joe Republicans in Nebraska who planned on voting for Kerrey who could explain their rationale, nor did he point to any polling data showing a significant defection of conservative Republicans to the Kerrey column. Instead, Rogers cited some moderate-to-liberal ex-Republican senators who have had kind words for Kerrey, while also touting as potentially decisive former senator Chuck Hagel's decision to officially endorse the Democrat:
Yesterday's Style page of the Washington Post devoted a gauzy piece by staffer Jason Horowitz to Obama's "data-driven guru" David Plouffe. Today, Horowitz's colleague Amy Gardner took her turn at Obama campaign puffery with her Style section front-pager, "
"Welcome to the 'Jen and Jay Show,' the latest iteration of the White House news briefing," Gardner opened her October 31 piece on the Air Force One press gaggles that Jen Psaki of the Obama campaign and White House press secretary Jay Carney conduct. "In the waning days of the campaign, the duo has given the briefings the feel of a vaudeville act: lighthearted and entertaining but also well rehearsed -- and deadly for Republican Mitt Romney." Gardner, ostensibly an objective journalist, oozed, going on to marvel at the showmanship of Psaki and Carney (emphases mine):
Updated below | An election season mailer linked to Focus on the Family and sent out to evangelical Christian voters in Iowa unfairly quoted President Obama out of context, CNN's Political Tracker blog complained this morning.
Yet in Peter Hamby's blog post -- Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’ -- the CNN.com staffer glossed over the fact that the other charges waged in the mailer are spot-on about areas in which the president is sharply to the left of religious conservatives on abortion, same-sex marriage, and a religious exemption for the contraception mandate (emphasis mine; see mailer photo below page break):
President Obama's gimmicky 48-hour campaign swing last week was given gauzy treatment on the front page of the October 30 Washington Post Style page. Staff writer Jason Horowitz devoted a 36-paragraph story headlined "Sleepless in the swing states" to the venture. Horowitz opened with "the president's electoral mastermind" David Plouffe as his protagonist.
Plouffe "is the data-driven guru of Obama's 2008 victory," Horowitz gushed, adding that the presidential reelection campaign may be a referendum on Obama, "but it is also by extension a referendum on Plouffe." Horowitz turned to Plouffe to dismiss as "garbage" polling data that bodes poorly for the president. While Horowitz may have aimed at positively portraying team Obama as happy warriors on the campaign trail, Plouffe ends up sounding a bit like Baghdad Bob:
This morning the Washington Post website announced that the paper had decided to endorse President Barack Obama for reelection. That endorsement should hit the print edition tomorrow. But make no mistake, endorsing the president is not the only cover the paper is granting the president. Witness the Post's treatment of the latest, damning development in the Benghazi fiasco.
In her rush to condemn U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite -- no stranger to criticism here on NewsBusters -- took the Indiana Republican's recent comments on abortion out of context and subsequently offered up readers a theology which, if followed to its logical conclusion, demeans the humanity and God-given dignity of persons living today who were conceived because of rape.
"Fact: @Politico has tweeted FIVE times on Richard Mourdock and NOTHING on leaked White House Libya emails since story broke @foxnewswatch", Richard Grennell tweeted shortly around 1:15 p.m. Eastern today (h/t my colleague Tim Graham for bringing this to my attention).
The president may have stepped in it with his glib, dismissive "horses and bayonets" crack in Monday's debate, but Laura Vozzella is determined to provide cover fire from her foxhole at the Washington Post.
"Navy country not riled by Obama 'bayonets' jab," blared the Metro section headline to Vozzella's October 24 story. "As Republicans criticize debate barb, folks in southeast Va. shrug it off," added the subheader. In fact, Vozzella insisted, "it seemed to hardly make a ripple in Hampton Roads," an area in southeastern Virginia with a large military and shipbuilding presence.
"We got some big laughs out of the crowd" on President Obama's "horses and bayonets" line, CNN's Soledad O'Brien gushed during a focus-group segment on CNN following shortly after the conclusion of Monday's presidential debate. Yet when she turned to see if a member of the focus group found it influential towards his vote, she was rebuffed.
"Often we in the media talk about moments. Did you think that that was an important moment that would influence your vote in any way?" O'Brien asked one Bob Thwaits (sp?), who replied, "No, not at all. I think that the digs are just part of the game and just a distraction. Takes you away from the facts." O'Brien dusted that off and turned to a female panelist who "rolled [her] eyes a lot" at Gov. Romney saying "I love teachers."
Going around the rope line at the bottom of his 7 p.m. Eastern edition of Monday's Hardball to ask folks whom they are supporting in the presidential race, Chris Matthews found a young man who said he was backing Romney because, unlike Obama, "he doesn't cover up scandals in the Middle East."
"What was the scandal? Get to it, nail it, what was the scandal?!" Matthews rudely barked at the Romney backer. Upon the young Romney supporter answering that he was referring to Benghazi and the administration's early dogged insistence that the fiasco was the result of a spontaneous demonstration over a YouTube video, Matthews barked back (emphasis mine), "Yeah, it was about the video. Read the newspaper. Thank you. Everybodyknows it's about the video. It's all about the video." [video follows page break]
Updated below | Not only has the Obama administration failed to live up to its promise of "transparency," it appears the president's reelection campaign shares the same issue. Politico media reporter Dylan Byers noted this morning that "Joe Vardon, a reporter with the Columbus Dispatch, says campaign aides stopped him from speaking to voters at a rally featuring Vice President Joe Biden in Canton, Ohio, today."
"Reporters NOT ALLOWED to talk to voters at Biden/Canton event," Byers quoted a Vardon tweet, "Saddled up to two 'Scotts' — both white, mid-50s — campaign tapped me on shoulder, said I wasn't allowed." In an update subsequently filed a mere eight minutes later, Byers noted that "Amy Dudley, a spokeswoman for Vice President Biden, emails" the following:
As we've noted here at NewsBusters, the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella has done her level best to attack Virginia's new strict abortion clinic regulations. Today was no exception as the Post staffer jumped on the chance to cast a Democrat-appointed health official's resignation in protest of the new regs as a move that has "provoked an outcry among the medical community." However the doctor that Vozzella quoted to represent the entire medical professional in the Old Line State is a Democratic donor whose primary place of medical practice is a Planned Parenthood clinic in Richmond.
In her October 19 front-pager "Virginia health official resigns: Abortion clinic rules cited," Vozzella noted how "Virginia's health commissioner" Karen Remley -- a 2008 appointee of then-Gov. Tim Kaine who was retained by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) -- "abruptly stepped down Thursday over new regulations requiring abortion facilities to meet strict, hospital-style building standards that many clinics contend they cannot afford." Later in her story, Vozzella turned to one Wendy Klein, whom she simply told readers was "an internist and retired Virginia Commonwealth University medical professor who has spoken against the building rules."
"Anybody who runs interference for Obama on this one issue [the Benghazi attack] is deliberately misleading the American people," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Sean Hannity during his "Media Mash" appearance on the October 18 Hannity. "The record is clear here" that the Obama administration took weeks to publicly admit that the assassination of Amb. Chris Stevens and three others at the Benghazi consulate was a terrorist attack.
Hannity and Bozell also discussed how the media "never vetted" Obama in 2008 and are failing to scrutinize his economic record as president now (watch the segment in the video embedded below the page break):
A few days ago the liberal media was all abuzz over how Paul Ryan supposedly muscled his way into back of a soup kitchen in Ohio and started washing already-cleaned pots and pans as a photo op.
It turned out later, however, that soup kitchen staffers had left some dirty pots and pans for Ryan to wash. Yes, it was part of a campaign photo-op, but the pots and pans were actually dirty and Ryan actually cleaned them. NBCNews.com's "First Read" blog noted the crucial update to the tempest-in-a-teapot on Tuesday. But judging from today's Hardball, MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews doesn't read his sister network's website.
President Obama is running for reelection because he feels the "higher calling" of the office, even though it's obvious he doesn't really love the political game, MSNBC's Alex Wagner told Conan O'Brien on his October 17 TBS program. By contrast, Gov. Mitt Romney is running simply because "it seems like the next thing he should be doing with his life."
Wagner made these comments after O'Brien observed that while Bill Clinton quite obviously loves hitting the campaign trail and stumping as a surrogate for Obama, it seems that the president himself would rather be doing something else than campaigning. [MP3 audio here; watch the video below the page break]
While every liberal journalist and their sister is busy flogging the desperate "binders full of women" attack meme against Mitt Romney today, MediaBistro's Peter Ogburn took time to note that Playboy is ginning their election season push against the former Massachusetts governor and his alleged "war on your sex life." Ironically, Playboy is the original mass-marketed binder full of [naked] women, a pioneer in the pornification of the culture and the objectification of women.
For his part, of course, Ogburn joshes around about nudie mag giving a platform to "author and activist Nancy L. Cohen" -- who back in September suggested on AlterNet that Romney is a "Mormon militant" -- a platform to lambaste the supposed puritanical, asexual Romney with her laughably ludicrous prediction of what America will look like sexually in 2014 (emphasis mine):
With just a fortnight until Halloween, Chris Matthews thinks he has just the story to scare the bejesus out of his viewers: Corporate executives sharing with their employees via email why they think a vote for Mitt Romney is better for the company's business.
I kid you not. Matthews attempted to blow a few such incidents into a grand scandal of "voter suppression" proportions on his October 17 program. Here's how Matthews introduced the segment:
Updated at bottom of post | Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere might want to brush up on federal firearms law before he holds forth on "fact-checking" statements about the issue. During a "Truth Squad" segment reacting to Tuesday night's debate on the October 17 Jansing & Co., the Politico deputy White House editor told MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing that Romney "is not correct as the [federal] law currently stands" regarding automatic weapons. Romney told the debate audience last night that "we of course don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country [for civilians] to have automatic weapons."
"The assault weapons ban expired, this was the law when Bill Clinton signed it in when he was president, but it expired under George Bush and it has not been renewed," Dovere noted, adding, "the way Congress is going at this point, it doesn't look like it will be." But Dovere is confusing the expired ban on so-called semiautomatic assault weapons with long-standing federal restrictions on automatic weapons.
Pastors -- almost all of them conservative Christian ones -- who participated in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" on October 7 are not free-speech crusaders but rather simply "rebels" against sensible U.S. tax policy, Yale law professor Adam Cohen complained in an October 16 TIME Ideas blog post. Cohen groused that The participants are trying to bait the IRS into coming after them so they can mount a legal challenge to the politics ban. So far, no luck, though they show no signs of quitting.
Cohen -- who once insisted the First Amendment's free speech guarantees are "vague"-- complained that pastors of tax-exempt churches issuing approval or condemnation of political candidates or legislation from the pulpit would in some way constitute a government subsidy of that political view. That's a popular view among liberals but it is a fundamentally-flawed premise that only makes sense if you believe that tax monies fundamentally BELONG to the government in the first place.
In an interview segment with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on his October 15 program, MSNBC's Martin Bashir alleged that conservatives are "shamelessly exploit[ing]" the deaths of Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans who were killed in the September 11 terrorist strike on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Bashir insisted that the family members of the slain are "all" tired of politicians trying to make hay out of the matter, citing the reaction of Amb. Chris Stevens's father as evidence that the families of the are all peeved at Republicans and generally trusting of the Obama administration.
Perhaps Bashir just disregards the sentiments of Ms. Pat Smith, whose son was killed in the 9/11 anniversary attack. Smith has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper, where she complained that she believes that the Obama administration has NOT been forthcoming with answers to her questions. Reported the Huffington Post (emphasis mine):